Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

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Latest post 06-13-2010 8:02 PM by Drew. 14 replies.
  • 06-12-2010 5:32 PM

    Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Hello, maybe you guys and gals can help me out.

    I have a neighbor who keeps using my land and my driveway (an old one that went to the back of the property to a small farm) to access his home. The driveway has been there since I got the property and there are no easements or any documentation that grants him permission to use the land. He recently added white gravel to the driveway without my knowledge and I want him to stop using my land and my driveway. His property is not land locked, so he has the ability to put an access road on his own land. I sent him a certified letter telling him to stop using the driveway and that I was giving him 30 days to find a remedy. 30 days pass and he still ignored the request. I set up some small barriers and he moves or destorys them when I leave the property. I did happen to get a picture of him on his tractor grating the driveway while there is a no trespassing sign clearly in view. I called the cops to report this but he ran back to his house before they showed up.

    His property was obtained in 1998 and the only time that he was supposed to use the driveway was to move the trailer he lives in to his property. At no point was any permission granted to him to use it for an extended amount of time. I didn't care much but was rather irritated that he continued to use the driveway but when he tried to make improvements to it and a recent dispute I want nothing to do with him. I want him off and away from me.

    My lawyer advised me to send the letter with the 30 day notice and I did. Then he gets a lawyer that send me a letter saying that although he doesn't have permission to use the driveway I can't block it off. Again, his property is not landlocked, he has no "squatters rights" or any documents that show he had permission to use my property. So how is it that I can't do anything about someone using my property, and taking the information above into consideration, what would be the best course of action? I've hired a lawyer that I meet with later this month, but it's making me very upset that I can't do what I want with the land because the other lawyer says that it will block access to his home when he clearly has his own property to build his own driveway.

    Thank you very, very much in advance to anyone to can give advice.

  • 06-12-2010 5:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Unfortunately, after all those years of using that part of the property, the neighbor might either own it under "adverse possession" or be entitled to a permanent "presecriptive easement."

    Discuss that with your lawyer and see if you have any options.

    Be prepared to spend lots of money on a lawsuit, one way or the other.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 06-12-2010 5:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    A friend of mine had a similar issue when she bought property in horse country.  Former owners had been leasing the pasture land and riding area to a barn owned by someone across the street.  Once they closed on the land per her attorney she sent a letter to the owner and boarders at the barn that their right to use her land expired in 30 days.  (former owner had notified them 90 days prior the property had been sold so it wasn't a surprise) On day 31 she went out and she and the contractor staked out the boundaries for the foundation for her new house.  Owner of barn and boarders pulled up the stakes TWICE saying it was a "danger to their horses" never mind that they weren't to be on the property anymore.  So she pulled out five HUGE sections of fencing and removed the gates making the pasture unusable since it was no longer completely fenced or gated.  When they complained she issued them a trespass notice and reminded them that the building contractor was coming to start construction and that it would be dangerous to have the horses on the property with construction going on.   They moved within a week.

    A less expensive option than lawsuits is to fence off your property and gate that driveway and lock it.  If he proceeds in destroying a legal fence on your property then you have vandalism charges and a lawsuit that is less expensive on your end.  Issue a formal trespass notice and let him know that the next time he is on your land or destroys your property jail will be involved.  If it were me I would also put up a sign that the property is under video surveillance for criminal activity: trespassing, illegal hunters etc.  doesn't matter if you never put up a camera.  He DOESN'T have to know that.  The thought that his activities are being monitored may cool him off too.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-12-2010 5:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    "Then he gets a lawyer that send me a letter saying that although he doesn't have permission to use the driveway I can't block it off."

    His lawyer is already acknowledging that he is trespassing and KNOWS he isn't allowed on the property.  My opinion (and I am no lawyer) is that he and his lawyer are hoping to scare you into backing down.  Ask him to point out the law that doesn't allow you to block off your own property and restrict access to trespassers.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-12-2010 5:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Thank you both for the information. I do appreciate it.

    I did a little quick research on KY "ap" laws and this is what I got:

    In Kentucky, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years if held under patent from the state and fifteen (15) years otherwise.  Kentucky Code §413.010, .050, .060.

    Does this mean that since this is my property and with or without persmission granted to him 15 years would have to pass before he could make the claim?

    Again, thank you all for your help.

  • 06-12-2010 6:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Yes, ClydesMom, that is what I thought when I was reading the letter myself. In the letter it said that I gave him verbal permission to use it, which was not the case. I told the guys moving the trailer onto the property that is would be ok to use the access drive for them to place his home on his property. I was also wondering when the law starting taking undocumented verbal agreements as proof of permission that are made up by the other party. Lol!

  • 06-12-2010 6:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Geonni Bravo:

    Does this mean that since this is my property and with or without persmission granted to him 15 years would have to pass before he could make the claim?

    Not necessarily.

    He bought his property in 1998.

    If the previous owner had also been using the driveway open and notoriously and without permission, then the years prior to 1998 might be added to the 12 years that your neighbor was using the driveway.

    On the other hand if you gave specific permission to only use it that one time for the trailer, you would have the right to revoke that permission and enforce your right to keep him out of the driveway.

    I like Clydesmom's idea of fencing it off and posting it. And since it appears that you don't live there I think it would be a good idea to install a silent alarm and video surveilance that you can watch remotely.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 06-12-2010 8:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    "it's making me very upset that I can't do what I want with the land because the other lawyer says that it will block access to his home when he clearly has his own property to build his own driveway."

    How much do you want to bet he isn't telling his lawyer that he has another driveway and other access?  He is telling his lawyer that this is the ONLY access because it's the one he prefers and he doesn't want to spend money for another driveway.  Here is another cheap alternative:  Take several clear pictures of HIS land and access route(s) other than yours.  You can have them blown up to 8X10s REALLY cheap.  Mail them to his lawyer along with a letter clarifying the access as you feel his client may not have been "completely honest" with him regarding the property.  Then issue a trespass notice via the lawyer too stating since he has ample access it is not necessary to use YOUR land.  PERIOD.  

    "I think it would be a good idea to install a silent alarm and video surveilance that you can watch remotely."

    Motion sensitive HIGH powered lights could be darn intimidating too!

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-12-2010 8:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    ClydesMom:

    Motion sensitive HIGH powered lights could be darn intimidating too!

    And loud recordings of vicious animal noises.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 06-12-2010 8:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    "And loud recordings of vicious animal noises."

    Too bad you can't train an army of skunks to stand guard duty.  :)

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-12-2010 9:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Geonni Bravo:

     His property is not land locked, so he has the ability to put an access road on his own land. I sent him a certified letter telling him to stop using the driveway and that I was giving him 30 days to find a remedy.

    So he does not currently have any other access to his property?  Just want this clarified because Clyde'smom's suggestion to take pics of the access would be a good one IF he did have other access.  I know you said he could put in a driveway but right now he doesn't have one?

  • 06-12-2010 9:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    "I know you said he could put in a driveway but right now he doesn't have one?"

    Apparently he doesn't and prefers to use hers to access his property.  He was given appropriate 30 days notice to remedy the situation (it should take less than a week several days tops to put a gravel drive in) but prefers to use their land instead of spending his own money.  I don't know about KY law but in my state here and where my friend lives each house is required to have it's own access drive.  Another option is to check and see if KY law provides for that and they may be able to force him to put his own in that way.

    "His property is not land locked, so he has the ability to put an access road on his own land."

    I interpreted this statement by the OP that her neighbor has enough frontage property bordering the main road that he can legally put the access driveway in.  In some cases local law requires X amount of frontage in order to put in a driveway and if he didn't have it or his land was landlocked from the main road then they legally would have to allow him to use their land/driveway.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 06-12-2010 9:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    No, he currently does not have his own driveway. He did have gravel dumped near his house which I thought he was going to use to make a driveway because I had mentioned it to him before and he said he would work on it. But, one day after work I come home to find out he instead used the gravel to build up the driveway on my property. This kind of makes me think that he is going to try to claim that he invested money into the road and that he did some kind of maintaining of the property if the matter goes to court.

    If that is the case then what is to stop me from making improvements on his house and claiming that I have a right to live there? I know that the comparison is unrealistic, but the principle and logic are the same. I'm starting to think that he is doing all this just to try to put a dent in my wallet.

    Again, thank you all for the input. I can say for sure that I will be using many of the ideas and advice given here. You guys and gals have a great weekend and be safe.

     

  • 06-12-2010 10:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Oh SURELY he is up to something with the gravel.  No doubt about that.  Let us know how this all works out, will you?

  • 06-13-2010 8:02 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,922

    Re: Neighbor won't stop using my driveway.

    Laymans take--

    I think you are using totally wrong words that likley will kill your odds! Go back to your attorney!

    If he has legal frontage someplace then the issue of  easement of necessity is quite remote if not irrelevant. .

     

    Here is the problem in a nutshell as I see it--if he has been openly and notoriously using it WITHOUT permission for  over 7 years (or whatever KY law say is necessary for a prescriptive easement, and you have snoozed for too long then he has acquired a prescriptive easement!

     

    HOWEVER permission is generally fatal I repeat, fatal to creating a prescriptive easement--so if permission was granted earlier for him to use it then it may be a simple matter to revoke permission and close it!!!

     

    It reads to me like some sort of permission was granted earlier--permission is critical to your need to close it off---In short--if permission was granted cira 1998 to use that pathway it may be as simple as writing him that prior permission has now been revoked, effective immediately --works are CRITICAL!  Do NOT blow it!



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